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Rice not interested in comparing scores with Wolverines

Posted: September 18, 2014 9:55 a.m.
Updated: September 19, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Let’s see, now. Two weeks ago, East Clarendon lost to North Central, 28-6. Last Friday, Camden Military Academy was edged by North Central, 20-14.
Given those two scenarios and the point difference between the two sides and NC, you would think CMA (1-1) would be looking good tonight as the Spartans head over to East Clarendon for a 7:30 p.m. game. Will Rice is having none of that comparison talk.
“Sometimes,” said the CMA head coach, “the matchups just benefit somebody else and they don’t benefit another team. I don’t pay a lot of attention to that.”
What Rice does see of the Wolverines (1-2) on film is a squad which is a near carbon copy of the team the Spartans came up just short against a week ago in Boonetown.
“They are similar to North Central in that they have a running back who runs really hard. They have a real fast wide receiver and they have a fairly big line,” Rice said of tonight’s hosts. “North Central has the numbers on them, but they have a quality team and Coach (Dwayne) Howell will have them ready to play. He’ll have a few wrinkles on offense and defense that we’ll have to adjust to.”
CMA opened the season by rolling past an outmanned North Myrtle Beach Christian unit in a week one game in which most of the winners’ starters received better than half the game off after having built up a big lead. That did little to help the Spartans’ conditioning last week in Boonetown as Rice said he could tell his team was becoming weary as the second half went along with NC scoring the only touchdown of the second 24 minutes.
Rice said the Spartans came away from the contest a bit bruised and battered while losing one player for the season with a shoulder injury. What the CMA boss liked a week ago was that his players hung tough and played hard until the final whistle.
“The positive was that we battled to the end,” he said. “We were dead in the second half, just because of the conditioning due to the amount of time we’ve been out here. We had a shot, we were driving at the end, but it just didn’t work out … it just wasn’t in the cards.
“We have to come back and work hard to get ready for East Clarendon because if we don’t, it could be a bad thing if we’re not prepared mentally.”
A year ago, EC left Spartan Field with a 20-18 victory over the hosts in a game in which the Wolverines flip-flopped quarterbacks between the smaller and quicker Jared Hair and a 210-pound signal caller who has since transferred. The latter of the two gave CMA fits when he tucked the ball away against a drained Spartan defense in the fourth quarter.
“Two (quarterbacks) was a nightmare last year,” Rice said of that contest. “Having one run and one throwing and then, they would mix it up on you and when you thought they were going to run, they would throw it. The kid they have now (Hair) runs that offense pretty well. They’ve had some bad luck with a dropped pass, here or there, but they’ve had some big plays, too.”
Since opening the season with a win over Green Sea-Floyds, the Wolverines have lost to North Central before falling to unbeaten McBee, 40-8, last week. Rice said his team cannot afford to be feeling sorry for itself after a missed opportunity seven days ago. “We have to come out and be ready to play and be ready to see things that we haven’t seen from them,” he said.
At the same time, after four weeks of practice, CMA has added to its playbook and could show the hosts a new wrinkle, or two.
“Obviously,” Rice said, “we’re going to have some more in with different fronts, different blitzes and different coverages. And, the more time that we’re here, the more the offensive playbook is going to expand. They have to prepare for us, too.”

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